Wildflower Triathlon - Long Course - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Lake San Antonio, California
United States
Total Time = 6h 43m 6s
Overall Rank = 1227/1883
Age Group = 20-24
Age Group Rank = 24/29
Pre-race routine:

I woke up late (as usual) ate a bagle with a small amount of cream cheese and had a cup of black coffee
Event warmup:

Not too much I got to the water just before my heat started. I did want to warm up though and mentally I reminded myself to race my race not anyone else's race
  • 34m 10s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 37s / 100 yards

Good swim course, I swam poorly for the first half. after that my HR dropped I could breath and I swam like I knew I could.
What would you do differently?:

Warm up, Stretch, eat sooner, meditate, bring HR down
Transition 1
  • 04m 58s

Rally bad calf cramp trying to get wetsuit off off heal. Grabbed vanilla gel off the table instead of chocolate *gag* not so good. The banana was great though
What would you do differently?:

Tri shoes so I don't have to stop and put on my bike shoes before leaving to the bike, use more/better body glide, Stretch wile running to stuff.
  • 3h 23m 59s
  • 56 miles
  • 16.47 mile/hr
What would you do differently?:

more training on hills.
Transition 2
  • 03m 20s
  • 2h 36m 38s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 11m 58s  min/mile
Post race
Event comments:

I am posting this in here because I was asked to so enjoy....


The journey to Wildflower

Wow what an amazing weekend. I found this weekend to be full of adventure, excitement, and every other emotion possible. The adventure really began on Thursday. We started off leaving late (this is not uncommon for my family) The people that came on the trip were myself, my fiance, my father, and his friend Jan. My father and Jan picked my fiance and I up from our apartment only about an hour late, but that is okay because I too was running about an hour or so late. my fiance and father got most the stuff loaded in the van while I took my sister and her boyfriend out shopping for food because they were watching our house while we went out of town. We came back and I helped everyone finish loading the van and we got on the road. After a short 3 hour drive (it would have been faster but we had a pop up trailer in tow) we finally arrive at the campground and pay our entry fee and locate a camping spot. (by the way it was about 1 am around this time) we back the pop up into the spot and unhook it from the van. We go to open the pop up using the motor and nothing. we try again. again nothing. The battery had died because a fuse blew (we didn't find out a fuse blew until Sunday) so after several minutes of choice words from my father he had to crawl inside the trailer and try to get the special wrench to lift the trailer manually. So after 30 minutes of turning the trailer finally lifts all the way up. we load our stuff in and go to sleep. We wake up later on in the morning and after cleaning up breakfast my father decides to figure out what is wrong with the trailer. So, he goes to start up the van and... nothing, he tries again and... nothing again. We know its not the battery because when you put the key in the radio still works, the power locks and windows work and the lights still work. Well after an hour of tooling around with that we decide it is best to go to the fairgrounds and do what I have to do there and also to look around. We walk down to the shuttle and get to the fair grounds. I pick up my packet and get my body marked. we start walking around to the different vendors. Shimano was there and they had the new Di2 stuff for both the TT and road bikes. I tried them and all I can say is WOW and AMAZING!! so worth it. I can't wait until the TT stuff is released in the US. We walked around to all the different vendors and looked at some cool stuff and then it came time for the rules and such for the Long course, so I went and sat there in the rain and listened to all the rules we had to follow and such. While I was doing this my dad and Jan continued through the vendors and became sold on compression socks, so after I was done with the rules I was whisked away to the booth that was selling compression socks. Turns out the company that owns this booth was only selling compression socks and they are the company that makes Zoot's compression socks. The guy was very knowledgeable and my dad ended up buying me a pair as a gift to wear the next day at the race. It was very nice of him and I think that they helped. (more on that in a minute) After all of the walking around and such we were ready to get some food but as luck would have it, no one had brought cash and there were no ATM's available. No one would do cash back and so we ended up eating at the restaurant there instead of the food vendors. After that very late lunch we walked around some more and checked out my location in the transition area before heading back to camp. At camp we hung out and I tried to prepare my stuff for the next days race. My father taught my fiance Gin and then she proceeded to kick is butt at it. At around 9 pm or so we all get hungry and so we make pasta for dinner and it was so good. I don't know if I was starving or what but it was gooooooood. After dinner I try to go to bed and the others stay up playing cards.

Race Day

I am awoken to the alarm going off on saturday morning at 5:30 am. My plan was to get up and eat and get dressed with plenty of time to let the food digest and set up my transition area for the race, No such luck. We all didn't even start moving until 6 and didn't leave until 6:45 or so. By the time we got to the boat shuttle, got picked up, dropped off and walked to the transition area it was 7:20 and the first wave started at 8:00. I quickly set up my area as best as I could making sure of things like tire inflation and such. I head down to the start area and get there as the announcer is calling 90 seconds until our wave leaves and i still haven't put my arms into my wetsuit. I get a little help putting my arms in and zipping up and just about that time the announcer starts the 10 second count down, and off we go. I don't know why but I could not breath. I don't know if it was cold water, or tight wetsuit, or adrenaline, or all of those but I couldn't breath. for the first half of the swim I had to go from free style for 3 or 4 strokes to back stroke, I could feel my heart rate was really high and I tried to bring it down but I couldn't. I dealt with this issue for the first half of the swim. I would swim 2 to 3 strokes free style (having to breath every stroke) then roll over and swim 10 or 15 strokes of backstroke. (I was lucky to have all those years of water polo under my belt so that I had a good head up back stroke. Because of it I was able to swim strait and keep my hips up wile doing back stroke). Also my timing chip felt like it was going to come off the entire swim. The ankle band was too small so I had to put it on a little loose and the material that was under the velcro kept fluttering in the water and was hitting my leg and making it feel like it was coming off and I had to stop 2 times to re adjust it. I also had to defog my goggles several times. I was able to do that while swimming (again something you learn on swim team) then like magic I don't know why but at about 10 yards from the second turn (more or less the half way point) I was able to swim free style. My heart rate dropped I was able to settle into my stroke and 3 stroke alternating breathing pattern and tun on some juice. I was able to pass people and felt like the swimmer I am. I ended up finishing the middle of the pack (other races I finish in the front but still manage to loose it in the bike and run- I have to work on that) I came out of the swim and was running up the boat launch ramp to the transition area and I could not for the life of me find my pull cord for the zipper. I did end up finding it when I got into the transition area. I also found the nutrition table. I grabbed what I though was a chocolate Gel but to my unpleasant surprise it was vanilla. I took 1 mouthful and just about gagged. I found my transition area (* a good tip, and I didn't think of it but the person next to me did, He wrote with pink chalk his name and and arrow pointing to his stuff, So all I had to do to find my stuff was look for his pink chalk, It was easier than looking for my neon green mat*) and started to rip off my wet suit. I got it off pretty good until my left ankle. I had to sit down and pry it off my left foot. In the process my calf cramped probably one of the worst cramps I ever had in my life. I stretched it a little while I was getting my bike stuff on and then off I went on my bike. My calf was still really tight but not quite cramped. I mounted my bike and started pedaling towards the dreaded "beach hill" (I was told by several people both on BT and at the race, including pros that beach hill was far worse than nasty grade, They all lied...:)) I realize about 2 tenths of a mile in that I haven't started my Garmin, Oops I hate it when I do that!! So I start it. I was able to not really keep up but not fall that far behind on beach hill. The rest of my ride went pretty much without a hitch, except for when I reached into my bento box my knuckle hit the start stop button on my Garmin (this happened twice. Fortunately I was able to restart it quickly both times) and I almost derailed twice but I was able to pedal through it. (my bike is a road bike with a triple in the front and 9 cog cassette in the back, and my DA bar end shifters are designed for a double front and 10 cog cassette in the back, so if I am not carful as to pay attention to what gear I am in, in the rear cassette I can derail my chain and have gotten it pretty stuck before. because I have my lowest gear in the back set as #2 on the shifter so if I shift the the first position on the shifter it derails and get wedged in between the spokes and cassette.) Then I get to nasty grade. I am tired and I ended up not consuming enough calories on the bike (to my defense they never said what flavor of Gatoraid was going to be on the course - it was lemon lime, My most hated flavor of Gatoraid) I did however learn that bananas are great nutrition on a long race and picked one up at every rest stop that had one. Riding up Nasty grade is the biggest metal challenge I have had to face. I was hot and tired and the hill was long and steep. For 90% of the hill there were no fans cheering or offering encouragement and neither were the riders (I am one of those triathletes that say good job and keep it up to everyone I pass or who passes me.) Even more discouraging was the fact that so many people were passing me. but I made it, and thats all I cared about, I was going to finish, first place or dead last, it doesn't matter as long as I finish. I get to the very top of the hill grab a banana from the aid station and try to focus on my decent. It was steep and curvy. I was a little unnerved to see an ambulance with 2 paramedics and a stretcher out at one of the big turns about 3/4 of the way down the decent. I said a quick prayer for that person wile I bombed down the mountain. I was cohesive enough to use any down hill as an opportunity to stretch my legs and especially my left calf that was still really tight. I kept telling myself to race my race and not try to keep up with anyone just go at the speed I feel is what I am capable of (wile still trying to offer some competition but save enough for the run) I get to mile 55 and celebrate inside my head. I celebrate at mile 55 instead of 56 because the last mile is a super steep downhill. It was a little scary because there is no flat road between the decent and transition area. The transition area is also on the other side of a fairly blind curve so bombing down that hill gets a bit nervy towards the bottom. Later my dad and Jan tell me that they saw quite a few people not only almost miss the transition area, causing them to slam on their brakes and slide to a stop, but also people coming around the turn with their heads down and almost taking out half of the volunteer staff. It was crazy but fun. So I dismount, without sliding or anything, and run to the transition area. I sit down and put on my new compression socks (I don't know why I didn't practice putting them on more) and running shoes and belt and off I went. Got half way between my area and the exit for the run and realized not only did I leave my Garmin running (not a big deal because it auto pauses) but I left it on my bike. So that meant I ran naked. I had no idea how long my run was taking me or anything. About 1 mile into the run my body decided it didn't like me anymore and I had major GI issues. throughout the entire run I had to make 3 porta-pot stops and could not stomach anything. I was able to drink some water and slowly take in a gel. The hill at mile four was insane. Any steeper and I think that we would have needed climbing equipment. The fact that it was a trail and fairly loose dirt and small rock didn't make it any easier. I decided that it would be smart to turn around and walk up it backwards (that used to help when I would do a lot of backpacking) but I forgot that I had just burned up my quads on the bike and almost cramped immediately. so I turned back around and walked to the top of the hill with most everyone else. I would run for a bit and then walk a short ways then run again. I kept doing this. Thank goodness around mile 10 I was able to nibble on some power bar. I would take a small bite and run a bit then another small one. I kept this up until mile 11 when I felt much better and was able to eat the entire bar like I normally would. I got to the top of the hill at mile 12 and as I rounded the corner to come down the hill into the finish (the same hill as the bike) I was so happy to hear an announcer call my name music playing and people cheering. It really gave me the mental boost that I needed. As I ran down the hill and start to enter the finishers shoot I see the lady next to me (in as much pain as I am) and I tell her to finish strong and go hard to the end and that she could do it and she did. I felt so happy crossing the finishing line that I was speechless and tears started to form in my eyes. I felt like a million bucks. There are no words still that could describe that feeling. I am not a crier at all but crossing that finish line I could feel the tears welling up. I didn't care how I placed anymore. I didn't care about anything except that I finished. I ran a HIM and from what I have been told one of the hardest HIM's there is. My fiance surprised me by making tee-shirts for the four of us to wear that day ( I will post pics of them at the end) After I finished and stretched out a bit we got my stuff from the transition area and headed to the boat shuttle to take us back to camp. Back at camp we partied a bit and I took a nap until dinner where I ate 3 large burritos that my fiance and Jan had made. We had beer and food and cards and I got to play 20 questions about the race. I had a good time that night. And although I had difficult times during the race, I felt it was a positive experience and a great challenge and a lot of fun.

Sunday, The day after.

So Sunday rolls around and I wake up and start making breakfast it was sooooo good bacon and eggs, mmmmmmm!!!! After breakfast its time to pack up to go except the van doesn't start and we don't know if the trailer will go down or not. After my dad spends 2 hours trying to figure out what is wrong (he has a crackberry and cell service) we determined that what was causing the van to not start is the PATS (the passive alarm something system), Some how the key or the key fop got deprogrammed and even though we weren't getting the alarm going off the internal alarm was not being deactivated and that was causing the car not to start. So the only way to start the van was to crawl underneath the van with a pair of pliers, pull the starter cap off the starter solenoid and touch the pliers to the bolt causing a short circuit and causing the engine to turn over. We also found a hidden fuse box that had a blown 30 amp fuse that was keeping the van from charging the battery to the trailer as well as causing the 20 amp fuse in the trailer that is responsible for operating the winch that raises and lowers the trailer to blow causing us to have to manually crank the trailer instead. We managed to replace the 30 amp fuse and the 20 amp fuse inside the trailer and found out that we then had no problem at all lowering the trailer. What a great feeling. The issue with the trailer had been ongoing for a while and we were finally able to fix it but the van issue was new and just a coincidence and quite a bit of bad luck. So we finally get packed and everything loaded up and hit the road making only 1 stop for gas (stopping the van means that my father had to crawl back under the van and short circuit the van to start it again. We get to my fiancé's and my apartment, unload about half of our stuff out of the van and go to sleep. That was my 2009 Wildflower experience. What a crazy wild epic adventure. I can't wait for next years adventure to begin!!

Last updated: 2008-10-07 12:00 AM
00:34:10 | 2112 yards | 01m 37s / 100yards
Age Group: 13/29
Overall: 473/1883
Performance: Below average
Suit: Zoot Zenith Full Suit
Course: short distance to turn 1 then long stretch to turn 2 short distance to turn 3 then long to turn 4
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Low
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Bad Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 04:58
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Below average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
03:23:59 | 56 miles | 16.47 mile/hr
Age Group: 18/29
Overall: 1009/1883
Performance: Below average
Wind: Little with gusts
Course: Hard, Lots of hills, lots and lots, and lots, and lots of hills. there is no flat part. at all! It was fun!
Road: Rough Dry Cadence: 80
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Bad
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Too much
Time: 03:20
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
02:36:38 | 13.1 miles | 11m 58s  min/mile
Age Group: 26/29
Overall: 1152/1883
Performance: Below average
Keeping cool Average Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5